Cracked: a Look into Suicide
Cracked, Not Broken by Kevin Hines was truly an eye-opening to what suicide is really like. Kevin Hines wrote this book himself about his experience jumping off the Golden gate bridge and surviving. Kevin states in the first few paragraphs that “I was only nineteen years old when he attempted to end his own life…”(Hines pg 2). He goes on to state that the reason he jumped from the bridge that day was that “he truly felt that he had to die” (Hines pg 2). Kevin Hines is truely inspirational because he went through a lot of hardships, he still remains optimistic.
When Kevin and his brother were growing up both his parents were drug addicts and they spent their first few years bouncing from cheap motels to cheap motels with little food. Till one day the police department found Kevin and his brother in horrible conditions and they were placed in foster care. Kevin and his brothers birth mother and father kidnap them from their foster home. During this time his brother passed away at a young age due to his chronic cough. Kevin was heartbroken over the death of his brother, Jordache.
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Kevin felt a great loss but then he met Debi Hines and he felt that he could be happy again. Debi Hines found Kevin while she was visiting Kevin’s past foster home. The Hines ended up filing a suit and winning the case against Kevin’s birth parents, this is when Kevin felt he had finally met his real family. The Hines opened their doors to Kevin and he finally felt like he belonged and was in a caring environment. Kevin stated “Patrick and Debi were the first individuals who fought for my future and battled to save my life” (Hines Pg 10)
Kevin found out later in his life that both his parents had a mental disorder. Soon after Kevin found out this information about his birth mother he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Kevin always thought that he did not fit in this own skin. As a child, he had a problem with “serious rapid and tangential thought patterns”(Hines pg 23). As Kevin grew up and was entering high school, he experienced his first breakdown. This was the first time people were cognizant of his mental condition.
In school, Kevin joined lots of clubs and sports teams. One Experience that really stood out to Kevin was when he experienced a public speaker at an Annual Diversity Committee Conference in Denver, Colorado. This speaker made Kevin want to pursue public speaking but Kevin realized that he was not any good at speaking to the public. This speaker stated that “perception can change your life. You are perceived by how you look and sound.” (Hines pg 27). Kevin also went on to wrestling even though he felt he was not good enough until he won the championship game against the opponent that he lost to the year before. Kevin stated that “ that was the highlight of my high school career” (Hines pg 30) After wrestling Kevin went out for the football team and really enjoyed it but what Kevin was most passionate about was theater. In theatre, Kevin fought to get a lead role in the school play. MR. H was the teacher for theater and him and Kevin connected instantly. This teacher really took an interest in Kevin but Mr. H suffered from his own mental problems like alcoholism. Despite Mr.H’s problem Kevin states “and though he was the best mentor I’ve ever had, I could sense, and see his struggles” (Hines Pg 36)
While Kevin was in high school he was able to finally stop taking the medication that he was on since fourth grade for seizures. This is when things started taking a turn for the worse because the medication, Tegretol was acting also as a mood stabilizer and antidepressant. The Downside to this medication was that it made Kevin very sleepy and he would fall asleep in class. After Kevin stopped taking his medication, he stated: “I descended into serious psychosis”(Hines Pg 33) Another tragic event happened while Kevin was still in high school his parents filed for divorce.
Kevin started to notice a change after he stopped taking his medicine. He felt as though “it was an illness and feeling that I could not describe. I believed people conspired and plotted terrible violence against me” (Hines Pg 38) Without the medication Kevin had no solution on how to deal with his moods. The world was slipping away from Kevin.
While Kevin was dealing with all these rapid changes, he landed a lead spot in the school play. While the curtain was raising he experienced his first psychotic break. After this experience, Kevin started to see a psychiatrist. At this point in Kevin’s life, he had another breakdown his senior year and threatened to kill a good friend. Things were really spiraling down for breakdown Kevin and this is when Kevin said: “Depression set it” (hines Pg 39). Durring this time Kevin found out that his bigest mentor, Mr. H Passed away by suciside.
This is when Kevin made a plan to end his life. In this part of Kevins life he began drinking heavy while on antipsychotic medication. Kevin stated that “On September 25, 2000, I would jump from the Golden Gate Bridge in an atttempt to take my own life”(HInes Pg 42).
The first article I read was from the National Institutes of Health about suicide and suicidal behavior. In this article, they defined suicide as “the act of intentionally ending one’s own life”(Nock et al Pg 2). Also, they identified three categories of suicide; suicide ideation, suicide plan, and suicide attempt. The difference between the three categories is that when a person experience ideation of suicide this is just thoughts, then the plan is a specific way a person wants to die and lastly, an attempt is when that persons dose harm. The data they used for this study was from the National Vital Statistics System of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The National Institutes of Health also reviewed many other countries with increased suicide rates from 1990-2005. In this study was “11th leading cause of death and accounts for 1.4 percent of all US deaths.”(Nock et al Pg 3). The results of this study were that there seems to be a peak at young adulthood form males than females. One other component of this study is suicidal behavior. The CDC keeps database on nonfatal self-injury that is treated in every Us hospital emergency departments. There are limitations to this database because of three factors; lack of correctness because of there in no difference between suicide and self-injury; no data on characteristics or protective factors; and no data outside of US hospitals.
Hines, K. (2013). Cracked, not broken: Surviving and thriving after a suicide attempt. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield.
Nock, M. K., Borges, G., Bromes, E. J., Cha, C. B., Kessler, R. C., & Lee, S. (2008, July 24). Suicide and Suicidal behavior. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2576496/pdf/nihms63845.pdf
Unintentional overdose and suicide among substance users: A review of overlap and risk factors. (2010, April 29). Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0376871610001110
Lngstrm, N., Lichtenstein, P., & Runeson, B. (2008, November 19). Risk of suicide after suicide attempt according to coexisting psychiatric disorder: Swedish cohort study with long term follow-up. Retrieved from https://www.bmj.com/content/337/bmj.a2205